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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Perspective dungeon map sketch

Tried out the perspective ruler assistant in this one. It's not a finished map yet, but enough for a proof of concept.


Here's my first try at a caverns map in Krita. Krita is free open source software by the way so give it a try if you don't have a favorite paint program ready to hand already.

I didn't decide on an entrance yet, so this map doesn't show one. If you use it, it will take that much modifying at least. The dots are stalactites.

Continuing dungeon mapping with Krita

This time I went for a bit more of a Dyson-like effect and then started playing with shades and textures on the floors.
I like it pretty well except the bordering is a bit messed up where it came close to the edge of the image. Have to make sure I leave some room there. 

Met on the road in Lemuria

For a long time I've been meaning to get into running a Barbarians of Lemuria game. So far, I've just done a a one off scenario. Here's a few NPCs as I reacquaint myself with character creation.

People your PC might meet travelling in Lemuria:

Rang Kar  (starting PC or equivalent NPC )
Retired spearman of the line and gentleman farmer
Rang Kar left Malakut military service after 12 years, and has been farming the plot of land in a border province he earned as a soldier's retirement.

Soldier 3, Farmer 1
Strength 2
Agility 1
Mind 0
Appeal 1

Brawl 1
Melee 2
Ranged 0
Defence 1

12 Lifeblood
Boons - Fighting-spear, Blind combat
Flaw - Landlubber

He's usually out with just a dagger and a staff, dressed in homespun laborer's garb a cut better than a peasant's, and his pocket change is just that, perhaps driving a wagon, plowing a field, or herding some livestock; but he has a full set of legionary medium armor packed in a trunk, and spear, shield, and sword ready to hand hanging on the wall.

He's fierce in defence of farm and family but definitely no longer going out looking for fights.

If the gods are fickle, he's just one tragically burnt out farmstead away from an adventuring career...

Zenna of the Forty Veils  (starting PC or equivalent NPC)
Parsoolian entertainer with a secret second life
Dancer 3,  Assassin 1
Strength 0
Agility 2
Mind 0
Appeal 2

Brawl 1
Melee 1
Ranged 0
Defence 2

10 Lifeblood
Boons - Carouser, Pirate killer
Flaw - City dweller

She will always have at least a strangling wire or a hairpin, most likely a dagger. Possibly more than one and poisons if pursuing an assassination.

Caravan guards (rabble+ & standard NPC)
Three swaggering bravos with a few journeys under their belt, a shade better than your average rabble
Guard 1
Melee 1
4 LB
Light or Medium armor
One or two of: dagger, sword, spear, mace, and/or crossbow 

Their leader, Stonnek (the sot, behind his back)
Str 1
App 1
Melee 1 
Defense 1
7 LB,
Guard 2
boon - detect deception, and flaw - drunkard.

Barrow Map

Another map to learn more of Krita.
This one is pretty similar but using the straight line tool a lot and doing less detailing. Its a barrow tomb complex.


So I was playing too much Neverwinter the last couple weeks and to wean myself away and get a bit creative again, I hooked up an old Wacom tablet to my PC, got drivers installed, and then went looking for a free graphics program to play with. I came across Krita, from and started learning it with the usual pages full of doodles. Once I started to have a rudimentary handle on it, I started trying to make something decent. Here are my first couple experiments in dungeon cartography in Krita. So far, I find it doesn't have the clearest interface, but it does have a lot of useful tools. With a bit of practice, I might get some useful results out of it.

The recipe, such as I remember of it:
I started by flipping through the textures until I came across the hachure one of the gray lines, and filled the page with that using the paint can once I had set it to pour the pattern using a check box in the tool options palette on the right.  

Using the pencil_texture brush tool, I sketched in the room and hallway background shades. I sketched in the outline lines simply using a variety of of the brushes set to a few pixels wide, liberally using control-Z undo until I got them outlined simply. 

But that looked really boring and had slightly wiggly borders since it is harder to draw nearly straight lines with either mouse or tablet than a pen on paper. So, to add interesting doodads that inspire DM creativity, provide shadows for thieves to hide in, etc, and primarily break up the crappiness of the initial outlines, with a couple of small pen tools I went back around the outlines and reinforced one here, made little bits and interior walls stick out there, put some rectangles that could be boxes or chests or furniture in other places. Added some details to the floors as part of this. Whenever I had to change back to the not-quite black for outlines after doing something else, I used the eyedropper on one of the fatter lines to pick it back up in the same color.

Went back around with an airbrush tool that I thought I had white in but was really a very pale green offwhite (which I think intensified a bit in saving as a JPEG) to trim in the hachure background to be just around the dungeon, except for a few bits I missed at the edges. A few touches of red spatter spray for blood of prior violence and green stippling with a small brush for green slimes or something like that pretty much wrapped it up. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hook Horrors

"My rat is full of basements. Can you clear them out?"  This inverted hook made me laugh last night when I thought of it and how it might be worked up to make it plausible. More mundanely, the proprietor of a tavern named The Rat has discovered dungeons below the premises. More graphically, there is a large structure in form like a giant rat statue, or an actual enormous petrified rat, and the resident needs similar aid. If its a real, live, rat or even giant rat, you're getting into space warping or some sort of Fantastic Voyage scenario of shrinking PCs. A Tardis shaped like a rat?

I came up with a few more this morning.

"Sheep are stealing our goblins!"

Hordes of vicious elves and dwarves are ravaging the countryside. The Dragon King of Orcs needs your help to stop them.

"My hovercraft is full of eels... seriously".  Alternately a location in a hex crawl, a stranded hovercraft half submerged in a swamp, and full of eels, or eel-men.

The tavern stumbles into a dying man with a map.  Perhaps the tavern the PCs are in is on legs in the mode of Baba Yaga's hut?

The tomb of the undead needs protection from grave robbers.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Painting WWII again

Aaron's got me interested in Too Fat Lardies' Chain of Command rules. The local group is playing in 28mm, so I'm painting up what little I have and buying a bit more to round out a platoon or two. I had a squad's worth of Germans in greatcoats from Old Glory half painted for a long time and a bag of four MG teams totally unstarted. To that I added a couple of bargain bin packs of Artizan German riflemen in Greatcoats I came across, which adds another 16 rifles. On the other side I had a box of Wargames Factory Chindits and a few Artizan LRDG that I had intended to use someday in the Savage Worlds adventure Day After Ragnarok. Added a few more bargain bin packs of LRDG and Aussies which will give me close to a platoon for North Africa if I paint the Chindits more Khaki and less green. Got the Germans and some of the LRDG & Aussies based last night on my favorite bases, 7/8" fender washers. This morning, they got a coat of thinned Aleene's tacky glue on the bases, a dip in a mixed pot of ballast and stone texture, a blast with a hair dryer to speed drying and some drying time, another coat of thinned glue on the base to lock down the texture, and another blast of hairdryer and some more drying time. Then out to the back yard table for priming. Army Painter white spray for the Aussies, Army Painter Uniform Gray for the Germans and a few Foundry Street Violence figs that tagged along. A bit of respraying laying down to better get the undercuts, and a bit of drying time, and into the shed for stain painting undercoats. The Commonwealth desert guys got a mix of cheap craft paint brown and tan colors and some water and satin finish for extra binder in the thinning water as their stain. The Germans got a mix of Payne's Grey, some of the leftovers from the Commonwealth brown mix, and some green & olive to warm the Payne's Grey a bit towards Feldgrau. With that all drying, I painted a bit of the excess stain onto some Bones monsters to see how it would go and to not waste the paint. This is what they look like at that point, with the stain still drying (the wetness is visible on some of the German bases).
 on :
There's a bunch more of the Germans and Stree Violence guys off to the right out of frame.

And here is what three of the Commonwealth guys look like after about 30-40 minutes of painting. Not done, but pretty good already and could show up in a game as is without embarrassment.  They're jumping the queue like mad on a bunch of pirates and Dark Ages guys, but when inspiration gets the brush working, go with it.

Made a bit more progress, getting the Feldgrau in on a lot of the Germans, during a DSL outage enforced lull in an online D&D game (Barrowmaze shoutout!). When you've been painting a lot of irregular figures like Dark Ages and pirates, its easy to forget how damn fast WWII uniforms can go.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

More Camp Table Skirmish 10 point builds

Working up several more 10 pointers and then I'll start running them against each other in 5 vs 5 or 10 vs 10 matchups to get a feel for balance.

Slow Shooter, maybe a big arquebus or jezail on a stand
Points purchase
1 figure with 3" move
4 To hit +3
5 Range 15"

Fast Evasive Light Cavalry
Points purchase
1 figure
4 Move 15"
3 Dodge -2
2 To Hit +2

Heavy infantry
Points purchase
1 figure
1 Move 6"
2 Armor Save 5+
2 To Hit +2
2 Morale +2
2 2 Extra wounds

Blob monster - regenerating wound sponge
Points purchase
1 figure, move 3"
4 3 extra wounds
2 Regenerate
1 To Hit +1
2 Morale +2

Mobile Veteran Archer
Points purchase
1 figure
1 1 extra wound
1 Move 6"
1 can attack before move or during move
2 Move full and fire
3 Range 9"
1 To Hit +1

Warrior monk with naginata
Points purchase
1 figure
2 To hit +2
1 Long Reach
1 Move 6"
1 Extra wound
2 Morale +2
2 Dodge -2

Medium Cavalry
Points purchase
1 figure
3 Move 12"
1 Dodge -1
1 Armor Save 6+
2 To Hit +2
1 Morale +1
1 1 Extra wound

Apprentice Wizard
Points purchase
1 figure
1 Move 6"
1 Move 3" and fire
1 Dodge -1
3 Range 9"
2 To Hit +2
1 AOE 1" diameter

Novice Cleric
Points purchase
1 figure
1 Move 6"
1 Move 3" and fire
1 Dodge -1
1 Range 3"
1 To Hit +1
1 AOE 1" diameter
1 1 Extra wound
2 Can heal instead of attack

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Camp Table Skirmish Minimaxing time

So how breakable is this point system? What's the most potent 10 point figure you can make in Camp Table Skirmish?

Maybe this?
Dervish Mage
1 for figure
1 to move 6"
4 +3 to hit
3 AOE 2"  -- without range paid, this is a PBAOE.
1 extra wound

Might swap the extra wound for another 3" of movement to close faster or for "reach" to get to attack first at contact. Though, if they do the closing on figures that already moved, they would be able to burst without actually contacting for melee on their own location and catch enemies in the edge of the burst.

These would have to fight in a loose skirmish line, as I did not allow for AOEs to exclude hitting friends.
They would be vulnerable to faster ranged attackers, but devastating up close.

If they are too powerful, not excluding self from a PBAOE would probably do it.

I also noticed while going over the table that we accidentally cheated a bit in the playtest game, as written there is a cost to move and shoot in the same turn that I did not pay in the troop buy on the archers. Should put a note into the combat rules, not just the purchase table.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Camp Table Skirmish Playtest Report

I dragooned my daughter into playing with me. She's played some RPGs before but this is the first minis game I've pulled her into. Haven't run many around home in a long while.

We played in a corner of my overburdened gaming and crafting table. Pushed enough crap out of the way to make a space about 3 feet on a side. Still have a lot of boxes and mess from the packing and unpacking of the convention game, looming at the edges of photos.

She chose the Orc side and decided to keep the first move I had made when I had started to solo before she joined in, rather than reset.

Found a few things to clean up in the rules, and have already typed in part of the fixes.

 The doughty village militia come from my Saga collection. The villains are a mix of old Games Workshop and similar figures from my D&D collection.

 At the end of the first move, the militia archers drew first blood, killing a couple of goblin spears, barely visible below the troll in the distance.

The troll and goblin spears moving faster than the orcs, the melee opened first on the left of this shot

A closer shot of the opening melee. I should have used a smaller figure for the troll or statted him with long reach.

General melee with the orcs getting the upper hand.

Both sides have thinned but the militia more so. Every melee orc that had to make an armor save on a 5-6 succeeded, leaving our hero Squire John quite frustrated with his sword that failed to bite again and again.

The end. Squire John is wounded and retreating across the bridge, just out of the shot to the left. With their spears all dead and enough archers down to reach 50%, an army morale check on an archer failed, ending the game. I didn't keep track, but it was about six or seven turns. It took about two hours.

Camp Table Miniature Campaign and Role Playing Rules

The Camp Table Skirmish Rules provide character design and combat mechanics. Instead of fighting head to head conventional skirmish battles, as a roleplaying game, one player will take on the role of gamemaster and other players will each have a player character or small band of characters. Decide on how many points each player gets to spend initially, and each builds a hero or a hero and some followers out of his points. About 10 points strikes me as similar in power to a traditional first level character.

As an RPG, the gamemaster will set up a map or maps to explore, and provide the challenges and opponents to overcome. As a miniatures campaign, veterans of previous games will get upgraded, and new reinforcements will need to be added as necessary from game to game. I may hack out another page on miniatures campaign scenario generation, but if you are thinking of playing this, you probably know the drill.

Character progression
These character progression rules could be used for either RPG play or miniatures campaign play. Track who killed what value of enemies. Split enemy values as appropriate when its a team effort, either each foe against all that hit it or the whole total value shared among the survivors.

After a battle your character gets experience build points that can be used for buying upgrades or banked for later upgrades.
You get a survival reward and a kills reward.

Survive a battle against a force of at least 80%  the value of your own. 1 point if it was a serious engagement.
Survive a battle against a force > 150% of your own. 2 points.

Kill at least your own value in enemies in the battle. 1 point.
Kill double your own value 2 points.

GM awards
The GM can grant additional points as seems fit. Treasures, mission, story, and roleplaying success are all likely reasons to add a build point or two in the course of a session.

Non combat challenges
Resolving challenges outside the scope of the combat rules: Wing it. Seriously. At this level of resolution, if randomness of success seems appropriate to you as a GM, pick a target number that makes sense and who rolls the die. Standardize or elaborate anything you like. Borrow as appropriate from anything at the lower end of the detail spectrum. It would be kind of silly to connect this game up to anything with very much detail to it.

Playtest scenario for Camp Table Skirmish

Okay, so I slapped together a semblance of the game. Now its time to start playtesting. Would love to hear back from anybody else that tries the rules (or even just reads them) as well.

So here's a starting scenario a bit more elaborate than a straight up point out two sides and fight.

The Orc Raid on Millbridge

Most of the village of Millbridge lies off the bottom of this map across the stream. The mill itself is on the map. The villagers are warned of the oncoming raid by the smoke and refugee children from the burning neighboring village Offmap Tragedy to the north and have rallied to defend their homes.

Right off the bat, I'll have to account for some new terrain types.

Road +3" move if all along the road and not flying.
Bridge counts as road.
Woods - standard slowing and missile defense bonus
Marshy Field - slowing only
River - slowing only.
Building - slowing, 2 points of defense vs missiles and melee vs people outside. No combat penalties if both combatants inside. It can be set alight by enemies remaining in contact for a full turn and rolling less than or equal to the number of enemies in contact with the building at the end of the turn. Once alight it can be put out by a bucket brigade of  friends on the outside and in contact with the river, each other, and the building and rolling the same way. If it burns for three turns after the turn it was set alight, it is burning so fiercely that it can no longer be put out and can be considered destroyed. Anyone still inside at that point dies. Torchers and bucket brigade cannot attack and defend at -1.

Orcs will enter from the top of the map.
Millbridge militia will deploy in the bottom third of the map.

The Orc objective is to sweep away the defenders and pillage the village. The militia seek to drive them off.

Millbridge Militia  100 points
10 Human Light Peasant Spearmen 40 pt
Figure +1
Move 6" +1
Long reach +1
Armor save 6 +1
Total cost 4 @

8 Human Light Peasant Archers 48 pt
Figure +1
Move 6" +1
Range 9" +3
Dodge -1 to attacker, +1
Total cost 6 @

Squire John (borrowing stats from Dwarven Veteran and bumping up a step of movement)
Figure +1
Move 9" +2
Armor save 4+, +4
Extra wound +1
+2 to hit, +2
Morale +2, +2
Total cost 12 @

Orcs of the Black Goat  100 pt
Gaghash the Troll Bruiser 23 pt
Figure +1
Move 9" +2
Throw 3" +1, stationary only
+2 to Hit +2
Armor save 4+, +4
4 wounds to kill +4
Morale +4, +4
Regenerate wounds +2
Inflict 2 wounds on a hit +3
Total cost 23 @

6 Choppers - swords and axes  30 pt
Figure +1
Move 6" +1
+1 to hit    +1
Armor save 5+,   +2
Total cost 5 @

8 Goblin Stickers - spear fodder  32 pt
Figure +1
Move 9" +2
Long reach +1
Total cost 4 @

3 Shooters - bows   15
Figure +1
Move 6" +1
Range 9" +3
Total cost 5 @

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Camp Table Fantasy Skirmish Rules

A few years back, I had a big box of D&D prepainted plastic figures and some dice along on our trip to Tuolumne Family Camp, planning to play D&D. One warm afternoon during "quiet time", I hacked out a set of fantasy skirmish rules and my son and I statted up several skirmish squads for it and we played a few  good games. After returning, I misplaced the handwritten version of the rules and don't find a copy on my laptop so I'm going to attempt to recreate them from memory, with a bit of rebalancing, mainly in scaling up costs for extra purchases of some of the powers. This version is currently unplaytested so I'll play with it awhile and edit this post as I adjust the balance.

Building an Army
For a small skirmish, give each player 100 points to buy figures. Most expensive figure not to exceed 33 points, and at least 50 points in figures costing 12 or less each. Ideally figures are costed out to be representative of their fantasy types, and not minimaxed, but gamers will be gamers, so if minimaxing is a risk, stat up several squads and select which squad will be played by each player randomly.

Each figure starts at 1 point. It hits on a d6 roll of 6 and dies to a single hit. It has no ranged attack, and must be in contact to fight. It moves 3 inches per turn. It has no armor save.

They will test morale at the end of the turn and pass on a 5+ on a d6, modified by any morale bonuses. Failed morale rolls by 1 recoil a half move. Fail by 2 and retreat a full move. Fail by 3 or more and the figure will rout a full move each turn until it passes a rally morale check or leaves the table.

Everything else is paid in additional points. Where there are a series of bonuses, the first time you take it has the first cost, the second time for the figure the second cost etc.

Add 3" to movement distance +1, can be repeated up to 4 times
Flight +2 per 3" of movement
Add 3" to combat range, with a missile weapon or magic +1, up to 5 times, stationary fire unless paid below
Add ranged fire combined with half move +1, full move +2
Add the ability to attack before move or during move instead of at end of move +1
Add 1 to the roll to hit, +1, +1, +2, +2, +3
Add  1" to diameter of area of effect of attacks, up to 3 times. +1,  +2,  +3
Add an armor save, starting with roll of 6, then +1 to roll for each improvement,  +1, +1, +2, +2
Add +1 to morale test roll, +1
Add dodge of attacks -1 to attack rolls against this figure, +1, +2, +3, +4
Add a "wound" that can be suffered before death +1, +1, +2, +2, +3, +3 etc
Regenerate or heal a wound on roll of 6 at the end of the turn +2
Heal other figure of 1 wound as attack action +2
Long reach, can fight two ranks deep and front rank can attack first in first round of melee unless opponent is also long reach +1
Inflict additional wound(s) with attack +2, +4

Sequence of Play
Roll for initiative, D6, ties to to the guy that did not have initiative last time.
Alternate movement, winner first, moving individual figures or groups of figures that are within 1" cohesion distance between bases. In group moves, individual figures are only limited by their individual maximum move distances, but cohesion must be maintained for figures to move together.
After both have moved, unengaged ranged characters shoot, tallying any hits before shooters are removed. Newly engaged ranged figures can also shoot at figures that moved into contact with them, but will forego melee attacks this round to do so.
Long reach attackers attack if in a first turn of contact.
All other melee attacks are made.
Take all morale checks and make any retreat moves.
Army morale test if needed.

Movement to contact must be by most direct route, only wrapping around enough to make room for additional attackers, except for move-by attacks by eligible figures, which can go past a figure and through gaps big enough for the width of their base.

Dodges or terrain effects may raise to hit numbers above 6. To hit higher numbers, any roll of a 6 is eligible to roll again, adding 5 from the original roll. So if an 8 is needed, roll a 6 and reroll and get a 3 or higher. If a number above 11 is needed, a second roll of 6 will allow 10 to be kept and a third roll added.
Make all melee attacks by figures with long reach in their first round of contact and remove their casualties.
Then make all other melee attacks.

Area effect attackers resolve against each target in the area. If their attack is a multiple wound attack it applies the multiple wound effect to each figure that it hits. Single target melee attackers with a multiple wound effect apply it all to one figure if it takes multiple wounds, or can spread wounds to adjacent single wound enemies. Each would get its own armor save if applicable, and some are harder to hit for reasons of dodge or terrain, it only spreads to them if they would be hit by the attack roll.

Morale tests
Mark all figures that have a friendly figure that costs at least half as much die within 2" and all multihit figures that are freshly wounded this turn. Use a special mark when the lost figure is worth double the figure(s) that will test.

Morale test table:
Roll one morale test if marked, additional losses do not require additional tests
Pass on modified 5+
4 - recoil half a move, facing enemy
3 - retreat one move, facing enemy
2 or less - rout full move, face away, test again at end of next turn and rout again unless passed

Modifiers to morale rolls
Morale bonus paid as cost of figures
-1 if wounded
-2 if wounded and next hit will kill the figure
-1 if testing for the loss of a friend worth double own cost or more

A side that has lost more than half its points makes an army morale test at the morale rating of a randomly selected survivor after individual checks and retreats are resolved in any turn in which it has taken additional casualties, losing the battle if it fails the check. If both armies test and fail on the same turn, its a draw.

Keeping it minimal with only area terrain to begin with. Areas can either provide cover, -1 to hit targets on edge, block ranged shots at targets more than a base depth in, or slow movement by half, minimum speed is still 3", or both. Height advantage gives a similar defense bonus in melee. Might want to add another cost for skirmish movement that ignores terrain movement penalties.

We played the original on a 3 x 3 foot card table with a few terrain areas in each game up to about 9" across in size.

Example figure costs

Human peasant spearman with shield
Figure +1
Move 6" +1
Long reach +1
Armor save 6 +1
Total cost 4

Human light peasant archer
Figure +1
Move 6" +1
Range 9" +3
Dodge -1 to attacker, +1
Total cost 6

Dwarven veteran
Figure +1
Move 6" +1
Armor save 4+, +4
Extra wound +1
+2 to hit, +2
Morale +2, +2
Total cost 11

Elven elite horsebow
Figure +1
Move 15" +4
Range 15" +4
+2 To Hit,  +2
Armor save 5+,  +2
Dodge -2,  +3
Extra wound +1
Full move and fire +2
Morale +3, +3
Attack before or during move +1
Total cost 23

Troll Bruiser
Figure +1
Move 9" +2
Throw 3" +1, stationary only
+2 to Hit +2
Armor save 4+, +4
4 wounds to kill +4
Morale +4, +4
Regenerate wounds +2
Inflict 2 wounds on a hit +3
Total cost 23

Fireballing Wizard
Figure +1
Move 12" +3
Range 15" +5  but stationary only, all that mystic powering up, so not buying moving fire
Attack Area 3" diameter +6
3 wounds +2
Dodge -4 (mists, mirror images, and nimble) +10
Regenerate +2
Morale +2, +2
Total 31

Goblin with firepots
Figure +1
Move 9" +2
Range 3" +1
Move full and attack +2
1" diameter attack +1
Total 7

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Event handling difference in Chrome and Firefox

Our QA engineer Oleg found a bug in a piece of Javascript I wrote last week that worked for me in Chrome but failed for him in Firefox. I found the answer quickly on the internet, but I'm writing it up here again to help sink it into my brain.

Event handling is different in Chrome's V8 Javascript engine and Firefox's Spidermonkey Javascript engine. 

In Chrome you can say: 

$("table#organisms_table").on("click","button.organism_copy", () -> 
    clicked_row = $("tr") 
    .... do stuff with the row ...

and have event work as an implied variable in the anonymous function that handles the click event. 

In Firefox you must explicitly pass in the event to the function. So for Firefox the code must be: 

  $("table#organisms_table").on("click","button.organism_copy", (event) -> 
    clicked_row = $("tr")

        .... do stuff with the row ...

With the implied version, the handler failed in Firefox with event being undefined and since it happened to be in a form it processed unintentionally like a submit button.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Well, that was a flop

Got to Conquest Avalon early and well enough prepared. Spent the afternoon setting up dungeon scenery and troops. Was satisfied with the look and the map topology being good for a wargame mini-sandbox.

 The minis room was thinly attended. Had a lot of compliments on the look of the game, but no players. Was outcompeted by the Zombiecide game for minis players of a non-historical bent.

It looked really good, and having it all set up, it became evident it would have looked even better with a black or grey groundcloth underneath it all. Will do that next time I set up a table full of dungeon.  

Next time I do a big dungeon convention game, I'm going to do it under the aegis of the RPG part of the convention I think. More likely to get takers that way. 

Soloed a couple turns while waiting around to see if anybody would take an interest, and worked out a few more tweaks to it. Will get some pictures up in a bit.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Is Dark Matter real or BS?

So I was reading this Ars Technica article on an experiment that is trying to detect particles of dark matter:
New Lux experiment: No dark matter in this corner

And I was reminded once again, that while I am a complete layman with only an intermittent popsci reading level at astrophysics and cosmology, dark matter and dark energy have always struck me as unlikely stuff made up to explain the discrepancy between data and the prevalent theory. Its undetectable stuff that we are told vastly outweighs the detectable stuff but it must be there or the equations don't come out right.

In the comments thread to that article there is one by a guy going by Bobson whose perception is like mine but more informed, responding to a similar comment by jfmiller28. He mentions rooting for the STVG theory that doesn't require dark matter and links to the Wikipedia article.

I'd never heard of STVG, so I follow the link off to the Wikipedia article, and scratch my head a bit at the discussion there. My first thought was"Okay, that's interesting but still confusing. Does somebody describe how would you go about testing it? Is it falsifiable or is it like String Theory that apparently is extremely difficult or impossible to test?" I was still curious so I did another Google search and came up with the Moffat  paper abstract on arXiv and this conference proceedings book in Google Books and start skimming, basically reading the layman-readable passages and skipping over the math. Apparently this was a gathering that was mostly attended by adherents of a new set of "relativistic" cosmological theories as opposed to the dominant ΛCDM model of cosmology.

Here's the gist I got from reading part of some of  papers from that book. Portions of ΛCDM are effectively based on simplifications that use Newtonian modeling of gravity and assumptions of uniformity of distribution of matter in the universe. ΛCDM needs there to be vast amounts of stuff we haven't found yet to make its math work out with observations. When you redo those parts with an Einsteinian relativity based gravity model and take into account the sponge-like structure to the distribution of galaxies in the universe and our measurements being done from one of the voids in that sponge, the fit to the data is much better. The dark matter and dark energy fudge factors drop out as unnecessary.

I'm not nearly qualified to judge this work on the details, but that description sure smells more right to me than dark energy and dark matter ever have. My gut says this will probably be one of those Kuhnian revolutions in science.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

More Dwarven Forge terrain done

A couple more photos. This time I laid out pretty much all the new stuff that is done, and the diagonal halls and some doors from the prepainted stuff. Looks like I can cover about 3" by 3" with this, will fill in the rest of the Chainmail table with Malifaux Terraclips, Mastermaze (if I lug that) and some homebrew terrain. One more batch of this stuff in the cool palette is on the paint table now.... Postscript, finished up after these pics.

Next up, clear the gaming table to work on the layout for the Chainmail game.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My Chainmail game is on for Conquest Avalon in Sacramento

I'm running a battle in a dungeon using the old Chainmail rules at Conquest Avalon in Sacramento November 1st. The scenario is gelling in my head and I'll be fleshing it out on the home tabletop this weekend, and working up more of Dwarven Forge scenery for part of the dungeon. Will have a table full of a mix of Dwarven Forge, Terraclips, and homebrew scenery. This post is basically thinking out loud as to work out scenario details.

 It will use the man to man combat tables at the back of the Chainmail rules, with some monsters that use the fantasy combat table. I'm pretty fresh on the rulebook, having used Chainmail combat rules for my old school D&D game at Pacificon last month.

I signed up to host up to 8, so I have a choice of four options for sides. Everyone vs everyone with spontaneous alliances and each having a mission goal, 4 vs 4, 2 vs 2 vs 2 vs 2, or 3 vs 3 with a couple of spoilers/loose cannons.  Given the setting, I'm thinking to do the last option.

 The main factions, probably Dwarves and Goblins, are both  resident in different parts of a megadungeon. The tabletop representing a level between their home territories that until very recently was protected by powerful magical wards that have precipitously and mysteriously dropped. After a curious dwarf and a similarly suicidal goblin come out of the no-man's level with loot, the gold rush is on! Both factions move in. Meanwhile a smaller force of adventurers comes delving opportunistically, and a monstrous faction emerges from below searching for loot, power, fresh meat, and slaves. If I come up short of players,

Of course it is a classic dungeon, so there are local monsters and traps to beset the unwary looters. Whoever dies first or if there are alternates, one or two extra players can play revealed creatures, or I'll use them as a GM tool. A few might even be potential allies depending on who encounters them. I might have some conflicting individual goals to make for uneasy alliances among the main faction players. The flavor from the delving party perspective ought to be that of a low-res D&D run into the middle of an active war zone.

As I remember from playing a lot of Chainmail many years ago, dwarves are worth about 2 goblins or one orc apiece, so that is my rule of thumb for balancing. So one player might have, say 15 dwarves and a hero dwarf leader, or an ogre plus 15 orcs or 30 goblins, maybe trading away some of the goblins for warg riders at 2 for 1. Will need to take into account the dwarf bonus vs ogres and how I implement it at man to man scale in working out whether an ogre approximately equals a hero. Will need to rank up my figures this weekend to see how many goblins I can field, though swapping out one group for orcs and possibly another for all ogres or something would let me bulk up a bit. It's a pretty lethal combat system once things get engaged, which pushes for big numbers but dungeon hallways restrict frontages unless a player is advancing along multiple routes, so forces shouldn't get too big. The Terraclips stuff has a natural 3" and 6" width of halls and rooms, Dwarven Forge tends towards a 3" space, 2 half squares with wall and two whole squares where the tiles meet between two L walls, or 2" where a walls are separated by a pure floor tile.  3" is a frontage of 3 or 4 figures depending on basing, with a few able to fight from the second rank, so a Dwarven warband like the above would be 4 to 5 ranks if massed in a typical hallway.

I can set up a card for each group with stats, including the portion of the man to man tables they will most likely need, for instance the goblins only really need to hit numbers for each weapon vs chainmail and chain and shield for most attacks, with the full table consulted for the rare other armors amongst the dwarves or other enemies.

Chainmail had awesomely powerful wizards with unlimited fireball or lightning attacks plus a few spells. With factions this small, I'll have to tone that down a bit or avoid spellcasters. Not much fun to see half your goblins go up in a fireball.

I don't have a formal map yet, but I know the characteristics it should have and did a bit of crude sketching. There should be very few door bottlenecks that would constrict the frontage to just one or two for one side, as they lead to stagnant ambush setups. Doors would mostly be into surprise rooms and possibly some narrow secondary routes.  It needs to be a highly networked dungeon so there is plenty of opportunities for lateral or flanking moves. There should be some big central chambers where battles can broaden out with multiple entrances. I'll probably do some second elevation stuff on the main map but not a full break out of two dungeon level maps with notional stairway linkage. I'm thinking about whether to have some of the map covered initially for some double blindness to the action or if the spectacle of an exposed dungeon is preferable. Probably the latter. Maybe just cover isolated rooms or the middle part of the map until it is explored. The two long sides of the table would have the entrance zones of the big factions, and the small ones either enter from the short sides or vertically somewhere in the middle.

Objectives... The two big sides will each score for killing their hated enemy, but not for killing the smaller sides. Everybody scores for finding loot which will be scattered around. The delvers probably score double for loot, monsters from below score for killing, capturing or recruiting anybody. Probably set up one to three strategic rooms that have value to being "King of the Dungeon" and holding at the end. Personal goals like rival goblin clans or dwarven hero bands that want to see themselves do better than a particular ally on some goal. Some valuable portable maguffin. A couple of entertaining magic items.

I'll probably use some variant on the basic morale rules to give some ebb and flow to combat between rounds, with recoils being a possible result after some losses, so it isn't pure rush up, grind down in a stationary fight to morale checks, and then melt away in a rout.

If short of players, the sides adjust something like:

7 Drop the monsters from below, reintroduce if somebody wanders up.
6 Put them back but only have two dwarf and two goblin factions.
5 Do both reductions above.
4 Have all four sides, with dwarf and goblin players each getting about half a player's group extra.
3 Like 4 without the monsters faction or I play the monsters faction.
2 Just line up all the dwarves on one side and all the goblin/orc faction on the other, drop the internal competition goals. Introduce reduced delver and/or monster factions on autopilot die rolls.
1 I fill in for one side in the two sided scenario.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dwarven Forge Dwarvenite Dungeons

I backed the Dwarven Forge Kickstarter for their new Dwarvenite terrain pieces. I am entirely satisfied with the majority that I got unpainted. The pre-painted stuff less so. What bugs me about the prepainted stuff is how they left out the gray maincoat that would make it match the older Mastermaze scenery reasonably well. Instead the new stuff appears to have the olive drybrush layer directly over the black Dwarvenite and picked out detail stones for a very high contrast look.  I might repaint some of it to be more similar to Mastermaze standards. Also I'd have preferred the metal bits of chests and doors to be a duller iron or steel color rather than a bright silver, so I'm going over the hardware bits with a gunmetal color to dull them down a bit.

Anyway, I painted some of the new stuff in a cooler gray, aiming to be a bit more compatible, and part in a warmer earth tone palette for some contrasting sections.

Here is how they came out. I ended up kind of bracketing the old Mastermaze color scheme.

Warm scheme

Cool scheme

That's a piece of Mastermaze at the back left of the gray pieces for comparison of how they came out. They would look more similar if I'd used a lighter undercoat gray and more of a more olive highlight.

I really enjoyed painting these up. They go very quickly. So far I put in about 6 hours on Saturday and 2-3 tonight and have a lot of playable pieces and and started off another batch in the warm scheme tonight, after finishing up the drybrush layer on the cool scheme pieces.

Each batch had a medium to dark undertone, a contrasting color to pick out blocks, and a lighter color drybrushed over. The main color in the warm scheme is the pick out block color in the cool scheme. The pickout color in the warm scheme is a brick red-brown. The warm scheme got a tan drybrush highlight. The cool scheme got a light gray with some olive in it for the highlight.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Looking for a friend, Found my old rules

Over my morning coffee, I started a little web search to try to get back in touch with old gaming buddy Kerry Hanscom who moved away to Arizona something like 8 years ago. I'd subsequently lost his email address when changing jobs.

A search on his name turned it up in the acknowledgements in my Rencounter rules set, which I found as a PDF at I'm glad to see them still available.

Back in '95 I started Ed's Hobby Hovel, a gaming and pre-blog personal website on which I cut my teeth at HTML, CGI programming, connecting databases to the web, and such arcana. It was a passion project, getting wargaming stuff onto the web when there was pretty much none. At first it was Bill Armintrout and me and a few other pioneers, now the blogs are legion. It ran initially off of my desktop Mac while I worked at Stanford as a programmer and sysadmin, and then hummed along on the desk behind me after I upgraded to a new machine for my work. It was a pretty good deal for Stanford too, as everything I learned plowed back into helping other programmers and scientists webify their projects. The Yeast Deletion Project database inherited technologically directly from the Wargame Opponent Finder. After many long years in service, that machine Tetrad wore out and I never got around to standing the site back up on another computer.

One of the core pages of The Hobby Hovel was the Rencounter Skirmish Rules which I had evolved as a club set starting from the classic Colonial Skirmish Wargame Rules 1850-1900.  After many experiments with alternate approaches to sequencing, I eventually swapped out the combat rules for my own, so as to have something that was inspired by the Colonial set, but not infringing on it. And I've been partial to D12 based mechanics for a few decades now, since first playing Starguard.

Reposting Hobby Hovel content, and especially these rules has been one of my many backburnered projects, so its nice I can simply link to them while I procrastinate on the project of working up another version, with improved production values and the later variant of the combat system.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Ouro Burrows

Legend has it that a voracious Purple Worm burrowed out these tunnels long ago. After the worm left, a couple generations of sentient creatures found it easier to move in than to dig through stone themselves.

Some notable features:

The chevron arrows point up slopes.

A1 An elevated platform with a ladder up to it on the left side.

A5 & G7  Irregular pits

B4 I don't know what this is yet. Maybe a mysterious energy field, maybe a plug that fills in a vertical shaft that goes down into the route the worm departed from here to deeper parts unknown.

C7 Another vertical hole from an upper tunnel down to the lower tunnel where a groundwater spring feeds a pool.

D5 metal bar walls and gates.

E2 Partial cave in of both the upper and lower tunnels. There is a hole in the floor of the upper one that opens through the ceiling of the lower one.

F2 The cave in blocks the entrance of an old temple with undead occupants.

G5 The entrance to the burrow.

(I drew this over my morning mocha. I will rescan a straighter image later.)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

All Things Zombie Kickstarter

Ed Teixeira has a small Kickstarter going for new 28mm figures for All Things Zombie, an expansion to the game, and nice cards for referencing stats. The figures include zombies and some survivors and a few other creatures: werewolves, vampires, and mages for modern horror & fantasy, with whatever RPG or skirmish game you prefer.

If you aren't familiar with the rules, they are definitely worth a try. I've had the original game and other two supplements read and re-read on my pile'o'rules for awhile now. Haven't played it since my few modern zombies are unpainted and other periods have kept my reduced painting time busy.  I do have experience with the mechanics though, having run his "Six Gun Sound" Old West game a few times and played the WWII version with him once at the minicon in Alameda. It's a solid skirmish system with unusual mechanics and make for a fun, quick game.

Playing too much of The Secret World

I started playing The Secret World this summer when it was on sale on Steam and Guild Wars 2 had started to bore me. It has eaten up a lot of my time since. So here's my review of the game.

The Secret World is an MMO with a modern horror/magic/conspiracies theme. Each player character is in one of three factions, the Templars, Illuminati, and the Dragon. Think paladins from London, manipulative business types from New York and agents of Chaos from the Far East for organizational flavor text but pretty much mirror image functionality. All three are in a low level secret war for dominance but basically go through 95% the same quests to make discoveries and save the world as they go through the game. Missions are undertaken in places that are being overtaken by various evil magical or mysterious forces. There's a lot of Cthulhu mythos type magic via invasive power from other dimensions in the lore. That's not much of a spoiler since you encounter it very early in the game. The first mission zone is basically Lovecraftian New England in the middle of a mini-zombie apocalypse.

It came out last year, but after one of their pre-release weekends I had trouble trying to buy it from them online, so I passed for awhile. Now it is buy once and then "free" but you can figure on spending at least another $20 or so in the cash store for two paid content expansions.  They give you some free bonus points to try the store that will buy one of the three. The cash store also offers extras like titles, potions, clothing, and the like, but the two issues are the only "must have" items and only you keep playing after a couple months (assuming 10-20 hours a week). Optional subscription gives some benefits, but I haven't found it compelling.

Mechanically, it has an interesting skill and gear based progression system. You have two kinds of points to spend on your character as you gain experience, APs and SPs.

APs buy skills you can slot in to use (up to 7 active skills in use at any one time split between two weapons and 7 passives, later on adding one active and one passive for an auxiliary weapon). They start cheap but get progressively more expensive in APs, 1-50. There's an inner wheel of two banks of AP skills for each weapon, each bank scaling up 1-7 points for basic skills, and several banks for each weapon on the outer wheel with costs starting at 9 and going up to 50 in each bank. You'll start off with skills in two weapons, but as you fill them out, you branch out and do others, and can build up decks of abilities that mix and match pairs of weapons, plus possibly complimentary passive skills from other weapons. There are also three special non-weapon outer banks that can be mixed in, one for tanky skills, one for avoiding aggro, and one for some utilities. I currently have about half of the skills unlocked and can do some pretty interesting mixing and matching to vary the playstyle as I get bored or to fit the situation or adjust to be more damage or heals or tanky for trinity dungeon play or make more subtle tweaks when refighting a tough encounter in a dungeon.

SPs accrue at a bit less than half the rate of APs and are used to unlock progressively better gear. Each weapon has two scales that go 1-10 in terms of cost to buy the next level and the level of the item you can use. Your character has seven other magic item slots for Talismans, that also get skilled up. It is worthwhile to keep these within a point of the skill level on the weapons. I gimped myself for awhile by concentrating on weapons first. The stat bonuses from weapons and talismans provide enhanced damage dealing and damage reduction along several mechanical axes. There are three basics - Attack, Hit Points, and Healing, and several secondary ones to enhance penetration or blocking of penetration, critical hits chance and effect, evading being hit, damage reduction from physical and magical damage sources, etc.

Eventually you can unlock all the skills, and your only differentiation from other maxed out people is deck preference, not actually having a fixed class specialty like in most MMOs. This is both good and bad.

While levelling up gear was pretty much a matter of using a mishmash of whatever dropped or came as quest rewards or turned up at a reasonable price in the auction house. Doing an occasional dungeon can load you up with some blue items that are statted better than the basic greens you get while wandering around the world, making it worthwhile to do the 5 player dungeons even if you typically solo. Once skilled up to use level 10 gear, you'll want to do either a lot of dungeons or the 10 character raids into raid zones, to get filled up on a mixed set of blues, and to do all the dungeons at elite level to unlock nightmare level for further gear progression.

Crafting is a matter of breaking items down into materials and combining lower tier materials into higher tier ones or following recipes to combine materials with a toolkit to make stuff. I laid out the first page of my bank storage as a big 2D array of crafting materials with a vector for each kind of material in its different grades. Every so often I pull out stacks and do the 5 to 1 render of the stacks up to the next level, then that level to the next, etc, until I accumulate most of them at the top tier. I haven't actually made too many items yet, as I usually haven't been positioned to make useful things. I made my gadgets, a couple weapons, and a few glyphs that go into weapons to imbue them with secondary stats. Mostly I am stacking up materials for when I eventually get useful blue or purple toolkit drops.

The "missions" are well written as MMOs go and full of lore flavor.  Many are surprisingly atmospheric. A few are very funny. A few missions have puzzles that either make you do things like copy encoded text to decrypt by writing an appropriate script or finding a tool on the web, or foreign languages text to translate. I'm sure there is great satisfaction to puzzle solvers who actually take the time to solve those. If I could have control-C copied out the encoded data and pasted to a text file instead of retyping it from the image, I might have done so when I recognized the encoding schemes. But I tend to want to get on with it and hit the guides at or one of the wikis rather than playing out the trickier puzzles like a purist. There are a LOT of missions. I completed the main story line a few weeks ago, and between ones I missed and ones from the expansions for issues 5, 6, and 7, I still have plenty to do the first time.

Solo mission and open world hunting play is almost all DPS or DPS hybrid decks. Though for the odd get in and get out without killing things scenarios. This morning I decided to try to finish collecting the exploration locations for a map in Transylvania. That meant tagging map locations without a raid group in the lethal to solos monastery raid zone. Eventually I optimized on a tank/heal hybrid casting stun-heal-heal-heal as I ran past and away from monsters, which meant fewer deaths and an amusing variant stealth/ flight survival minigame.

The dungeons I've been to so far are well done. I haven't played all of them yet, since I do more open world mission play. If you stick with the game you'll run the dungeons at three levels, normal as you level up or help lowbie friends later, elite when you hit 10, and then when you've done all at Elite and beaten The Gatekeeper you unlock the ability to go back and do them at Nightmare level and start getting purple items as boss drops, and earning a currency that lets you buy purple items and kits that upgrade them. So far, I've only done three at Elite, so I haven't experienced Nightmare level. Most people tend to break out the 5 character group as Tank, Healer, 3 DPS, though it can shade with some people doing hybrids to beef up on the tank or heal side of DPS. In raid groups before my healing skills and gear were very good, I did a fair amount of DPS/backup healer hybrid, especially for the big boss fights. I did my first main healer runs yesterday.

For PVP there are a couple short game grab and hold the widget zones for small teams and a bigger team continous conquest zones. There are some benefits to players of the side that is winning the secret war but not enough to be really noticeable. PVP is another source of equipment, prestige rewards and costume parts. I have not played much PVP in TSW yet, finding it less compelling than prior experiences in DAOC, Planetside 1 and 2, and GW 2. I've been trying it a bit lately but not enough yet to get my first PVP purple item which from what I can see in the most significant reward.

One thing I did not notice for a long time is that permanent run speed buffs are available from a merchant in your faction headquarters for the basic currency. As you gain faction rank you can buy higher buffs to run faster. You'll do a lot of running to get around maps and tactically for evasion, so it behooves you to buy these sooner rather than later. Its much nicer to buy a speed buff than a couple more costume pieces. I did not realize when I first encountered them that these were permanent and then kind of forgot about them until I asked one of the guys that kept having to wait for me to catch up where he got it.

I joined a very pleasant Templar "Cabal" - TSW's synonym for guild, The Order of Pie, with my main toon. It's a nice bunch of people for raids, dungeons, or paired mission runs. They are friendly, helpful, and low drama.

There are some glitches in the game that annoy, like the alt key to retarget heals to yourself not working well, so you have to hit it a few times to make it stick, and the usual MMO server sync lag and mission bugs, and some weird UI decisions in missions.

Overall, the experience for me has been about as good as my previous favorite MMORPG, Dark Age of Camelot, with a different batch of plusses and minuses, and that is pretty good for a game that comes after so many others in the genre, factoring in the been-there-done-that element. Its an excellent solo PVE game, very good group PVE game, and okay PVP game. Might even be a good PVP game for awhile if you are in the right cabal that is focused on the PVP experience and not doing it as a sideline.

At least up to the point where I'm at there are always several competing goals to work on. At the moment, I have the flamethrower auxilliary weapon to finish collecting SPs to unlock, fist weapons to finish the healing skills on, the missile launcher to pick up more skills on, blood magic and shotguns to develop to be interesting, blades nearly complete to finish off as my skills to do list, with a lot more skills around the wheels for later. I'm in the first mission of Issue 6, trying to figure out how to get into a date processing plant guarded by cultists and surveillance cameras. I need to complete the rest of the dungeons on Elite, so I can unlock Nightmare and start improving my gear again. I am getting close to a purple item from PVP,  and I can rerun Issue 7 to get a purple signet for the reward item from the first time through.

A little dungeon

Did this little dungeon map at the cafe today as a warmup before getting back to work on the city. Enjoyed Dyson's tutorials so I was curious what I could do in that vein from memory. The hachures vary as I experimented with what kind of strokes I liked.

A City in Ruin

Drew this map for a D&D game I've been running at lunchtime on Thursdays at work. The party is finally getting close enough that I need one of the area around a key temple. It's a bit of an experiment with drawing maps plain without any squaring up by graph paper or drafting tools, irregularity to the architecture fitting the setting.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Smugglers' Docks Camera Test

Took a bunch of pics tonight of figures I might use for Smuggler's Docks.  Used an old Nikon Coolpix 4200, which can do pretty good macro photos, but had no good lighting set up. Did a few with the flash and the rest with room light only, which came out really yellow. Did not set up tripod, just rested camera on the tabletop. Tried some color correction in iPhoto, but will really have to reshoot the lot outdoors or with some serious lights. Also played some with cropping and matting in iPhoto. Will replace all of these with better photos and work the final photos into final group sheets with stats. Anyway it made for a fun evening of experimentation, and gave me a chance to do some graphical content beyond that cheesy map sketch. 

Need more steps of matting if I'm going to do it at all. Euripides Club. Flash photo. 
Ditto. I think this Foundry guy is supposed to be Bat Masterson, but he'll do for English if the star is ignored.

Same figure without flash. Really yellow. Looked better on back of camera. That's a blurry mechanical man from the GURPS steampunk set in the background. 

His Lordship'ss face needs some reworking.

This gent'ss hat is dinged up and needs retouching. He's a RAFM ACW duelling officer.

Why does this guy's face always come in out of focus? It was like this in several shots. I guess he's leaning forward a bit and depth of field is negligible, with autofocus getting the sword hand or body right. Will have to focus on his face in the reshoot.  Gave him a lots of push towards cool coloring to try to offset some of the yellowing. Didn't really help. He's the likely initial President of the Euripides club, anyway.

If I remember right, this guy is a Foundry Franco Prussian War civilian. He'll do for a long arm in the Euripides Club.

Another E.C. member with a battered hat needing touchup. He's the same officer figure as above with the hat cut down and sabre removed.

The doctor seems more likely an NPC but could be among the Gentlemen in a pinch.

Mad scientist, first appeared in my Pacificon Deadlands game a couple years ago. No scenario role yet. I forget where he comes from. 40K maybe?

Another mad scientist with an infernal device and weird armor. Possibly for use later when there are more points in play for fancier devices. A Malifaux figure.

Not exactly a gentleman, more of a Quatermain in Africa sort. But I like him a lot. Looks like 6 steps of matting is enough. But I see some at the corners, so maybe I color corrected after matting?

This pirate isn't finished yet, but he's starting to look presentable. There are several more on my painting table about this far along.

I'm fond of this pirate. Will either have to call that gun a heavy pistol or pay for it as a blunderbuss.

This Ral Partha pirate is done mostly in inks, recently finished up.

The hounds for the Cossack version of the Wolfen Jaeger

Foundry Frei Korps Kapitan

Frei Korps Officer

Foundry Darkest Africa guy, has a musket on his back, will probably be in Pirate crew.

Cossack with blunderbuss. The Cossacks and Frei Korps were originally paired opponents so could do an Eastern European port or docks in a river town and use Cossacks for the Pirate side in Cutlass sometimes I suppose. Seems to be the only Cossack photo of the batch that I uploaded, aside from the dogs.

Arab or Turkish pirate.

 Frei korps musketeer. More like him and some in other poses. Its a nice pack for skirmish gaming.